It's hard, mostly impossible, to see the world the way God does. Caught up in our own lives, we see the world mostly from our own narrow points of view.

Perhaps in these next few moments, however, you can get a glimpse of what the Creator sees, and hear the message that God has for all the world to understand.

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He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it. For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life? Indeed, what can they give in return for their life? Those who are ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of them the Son of Man will also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”

Mark 8:34-38

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We live in a society that encourages us to put ourselves first. We hear that we deserve the best in clothing, food, housing, and other resources. Success for many is defined as having the latest versions and the most of whatever is available. We are promised happiness if we buy the right things. Often when we get what we want, we find ourselves dissatisfied again, seeking the next new item to bring happiness.

Christ calls us to a different reality. We are told to deny ourselves and to look at a bigger picture. In this picture we see that things are not important. The stuff we own will not give us a full life. Following the latest fads and popular culture leaves us with nothing of substance. It is in giving up a focus on ourselves that we gain joy. Our full lives are found in following Christ.

Bonnie Cassida

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God of abundant life, I give my life to you. Help me to not always think of myself, but to trust and follow you. Amen.

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Go now with the assurance
That God has you in mind;
God values you and
Knows your potential.
Live this day knowing
That God has something for you;
God is making a difference
Through you.

Bonnie Cassida

Bonnie Cassida is pastor of Bethel Baptist Church in Columbia, Missouri. She is wife, mother of three, gardener, and dog lover. She is studying to be a beekeeper.

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